An Un-brie-lievable Charcuterie Board

'Tis the season for holiday get-togethers and holiday parties with friends! Although your traditional holiday celebrations are looking different this year, it doesn’t mean you still can’t be festive! My favorite part of the holiday season is the endless boards of cheese and appetizers at family gatherings. These seemingly elaborate boards are easier than you think. Mini charcuterie boards are an easy and festive way to have photogenic food without the sharing of plates— AKA, socially distant celebration food! Here are my best tips for a beautiful, delicious charcuterie board.

 

A general tip—keep similar appearances, textures and categories separate from each other to have a more elaborate charcuterie board; for example, put crackers, orange slices, and almonds next to a cheese wedge instead of another cheese wedge. 

 

1. Choose a star.

With every good charcuterie board, there is always an element on center stage. My personal favorite main item is a round of brie cheese, specifically baked brie (I follow this recipe from Half Baked Harvest)! Another great item is hummus or another type of dip/spread that is in a round container. The larger, more round shapes offer a nice focal point for the board!

 

2. Incorporate an extra cheese and a little meat.

Now is the time to choose your favorite cheeses and incorporate a little wedge. Pick as many flavors as you would like and arrange them around the board with room to place the other elements around them. 

*Optional: choose your favorite cured meats and fold/roll them and arrange around the cheeses. I usually use prosciutto or salami if I add meat, but there are no wrong choices!

 

3. Pick some salty foods.

The fun begins here—crackers, pretzels and all the salty snacks! Your cheese and dips need something to go on, and the possibilities are endless. Any type of cracker, pretzels, pita bread, french bread or focaccia pieces can all be incorporated. Follow your heart (or tastebuds), and arrange your favorite salty snacks on the board. 

 

4. Add some sugar.

The fun certainly doesn’t end with the salty snacks. Bring out your chocolate, gummy candy, and baked goods for this one! Choose any bite size (or cut into bite size) sweets and arrange them the same way you have been doing. Not sure where to start with sweets? I usually add Ghirardelli squares (hello, seasonal peppermint bark)! I also add chocolate covered almonds and holiday spice drops to my board.

 

5. Balance it out with fruit.

My absolute favorite way to fill holes in the board is with fresh fruit. Not only does it give it a pop of color, but it also adds delicious flavors. An all-time classic is fresh orange slices. Another great option is strawberries (can be chocolate covered!), raspberries, pomegranate arils, grapes, apple slices and really whatever you are feeling. I promise you, adding fruit is the best addition to any charcuterie board, you’ll thank me later!

 

So grab your charcuterie, hop on Zoom or sit six feet away to enjoy this holiday season!